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SPORTS WEEKEND | AROUND THE NFC / WEST

Is This Saint a Sinner?

October 06, 2000

New Orleans Saint running Ricky Williams is getting the hang of it.

He had back-to-back 100-yard rushing games, against the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles, before last week's bye.

Williams would be really impressive if he could just hang on to the ball. He has four fumbles in four games.

"Ricky Williams is doing everything you would like him to do except maybe [avoiding fumbles] a little more," Saint Coach Jim Haslett said. "We addressed that this week. I think that is more a mind-set than anything. I don't think that is a physical problem. . . . You just have to secure the football. He has taken some hard hits and held on to the ball, and he has taken hits that were not very hard and dropped the ball."

Why did Bill Musgrave resign his job as offensive coordinator of the punchless Carolina Panthers this week?

"None of us as coaches know the reason that the falloff has taken place or why the offense has faltered so much in the three losses," Musgrave told the Charlotte Observer. "All of us put our heart and soul into it, with great expectations.

"A change needed to be made, so I'm hoping the change that's been made will help the offense so they can get it turned around."

Musgrave's replacement is wide-receiver coach Richard Williamson.

The Panthers, who had the sixth-best offense last season, are currently ranked 16th and have scored more than 20 points only once.

With all the pressure of trying to follow Joe Montana and Steve Young, at least San Francisco 49er quarterback Jeff Garcia doesn't have to face a great deal of pressure from the opposition. San Francisco has given up only three sacks, which ties the 49ers with the New York Jets for fewest in the league.

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